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If you’re unsure about the differences between Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI) and Christian Copyright Solutions (CCS), and the licenses each provide, here’s what you need to know.
Both organizations exist to serve the church, and each offers licensing to cover a unique set of music rights that many churches need to legally cover their services and ministry activities. So it’s not a case of choosing one license over another. Depending on your activities, you may require a combination of the licenses provided by each organization.
The great news is that CCLI and CCS now work together to provide the broadest comprehensive licensing available, making the use of copyrights simple, legal, and affordable, and ensuring churches and Christian ministries are protected.
When it comes to music copyrights there are two main rights:
- Reproduction or copying rights
The right to copy, print or store songs for projection is generally covered by CCLI’s licenses.
- Performance rights
The right to perform live, or play recordings of songs outside of worship services is generally covered by CCS’s licenses.
(Under the Religious Service Exemption of the US Copyright Law, music performances in the course of religious services are not an infringement of copyright)
The CCLI Copyright License® allows churches to reproduce or copy more than 500,000 worship songs and hymns to assist congregational singing in the following ways:
- Electronically store and retrieve song lyrics and music on computers and digital devices to enable the visual projection of songs
- Print songs in bulletins, liturgies, programs, song sheets, songbooks compiled by the church, overhead transparencies, and slides
- Copy songs from hymnals, websites, and similar publications
- Record songs in live worship services, including meditations, preludes, postludes, interludes, fanfares, and handbell, vocal and instrumental specials, by either audio or audio-visual means
- Make customized vocal and or instrumental arrangements of songs where no published version exists
- Translate song lyrics into another language where no published version exists
These are all Reproduction rights, as well as some limited Derivative rights. The CCLI Copyright License does not grant Performance rights, which are administered by CCS and need to be considered when music is performed outside of religious services.
CCLI also provides a Streaming License which extends these reproduction rights for churches posting live-recorded worship services online, either on their own website or popular social media platforms. The Streaming License covers nearly 450,000 of the songs authorized by the CCLI Copyright License.
The CCS PERFORMmusic License authorizes churches and non-profit ministries to legally perform live or play pre-recorded versions of more than 28 million songs from ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC anywhere outside of your religious services, including:
- Playing music before and after services
- Onsite cafes and bookstores
- Conferences and retreats
- Festivals and special music events
- Vacation Bible School and youth groups
- Dance and exercise classes
- Social and sporting events
- Graduation and award ceremonies
- On-hold music
These are all Performance rights. The CCS PERFORMmusic License does not grant Reproduction rights.
CCS also provides the WORSHIPcast License which permits churches to stream songs from the ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC catalogs.
For further information about CCS’s licenses, visit christiancopyrightsolutions.com or call (855) 576-5837.